US stocks edge higher as investors weigh economic-reopening hopes against disappointing housing data

Stock Market

US stocks traded edged higher on Tuesday as investors weighed economic-recovery optimism against disappointing housing data.

New housing starts fell by more than expected in April, reflecting supply constraints and rising home prices nationwide. Residential starts decreased 9.5% to a 1.57 million annualized rate, lower than the consensus estimate of 1.7 million compiled by Bloomberg.

The tepid trading follows a US stocks sell-off on Monday led by technology stocks as investors continued to weigh rising inflation fears. An uptick in COVID-19 cases outside of the US also hurt risk assets.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday.

In cryptocurrencies, bitcoin continued its slide, falling as much as 5.1%, to $42,547.90. Options traders have piled into bets that bitcoin will fall below $40,000 by next month following an Elon Musk tweet-storm that sent the price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization tumbling.

Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz for his part predicted bitcoin will be stuck somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 for four to six weeks after Musk halted Tesla payments in bitcoin and criticized its energy use.

Oil prices slid. West Texas Intermediate crude fell as much as 0.6%, to $65.90 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, declined 0.4%, to $69.19 per barrel, at intraday lows.

Gold climbed as much as 0.4% to $1,875.10 per ounce, extending a three-month high.

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US stocks close mixed with tech lower as traders weigh economic-recovery data

FILE - In this May 13, 2020, file photo, Ford Motor Co., line workers put together ventilators that the automaker is assembling at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich. American industry rebounded last month as factories began to reopen for the first time since being shut down by the coronavirus in Aprll. The Federal Reserve said Tuesday, June 16, 2020, that industrial production - including output at factories, mines and utilities - rose 1.4% in May after plummeting a record 12.4% in April and 4.6% in March. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
In this May 13, 2020, file photo, Ford Motor line workers put together ventilators that the automaker is assembling at the Ford Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti Township, Mich.

  • US stocks close mixed as traders weigh economic recovery data against inflationary concerns.
  • Shares of Moderna and Pfizer also slipped after the US said it will support a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.
  • Oil prices snapped a two-day winning streak as investors pull back from the recent rally.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

US stocks close mixed Wednesday with technology leading the losses as traders weigh economic recovery data against inflationary concerns.

The US private sector saw hiring accelerate through April – growing by 742,000 last month – according to ADP’s monthly employment report, as widespread vaccination led the economy to further reopen.

The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a gain of 873,000 payrolls. The most optimistic estimates pegged job growth at well over 1 million.

“The labor market continues an upward trend of acceleration and growth, posting the strongest reading since September 2020,” Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, said in a statement.

“US stocks are rising after solid economic data, calm in the bond market, and as the global economic recovery improves,” Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note.

He continued: “The next big catalyst for equities is that the US needs its allies to also win the fight against COVID and that will take time. The gains abroad are greater as the recovery potential in Europe far exceeds what is left for the US.”

President Biden also announced a new goal Tuesday to have 70% of adults in the US at least partially vaccinated by July. This means giving close to 100 million shots over the next 60 days, the president said.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Wednesday.

Peloton Interactive plunged as much as 15% after announcing it will voluntarily recall two versions of its treadmills. The decision comes in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission following reports of injuries and one death.

Shares of Moderna and Pfizer also slipped after the US said it will support a proposal to waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.

“This is a global health crisis, and the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures,” US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said in a statement.

In cryptocurrencies, dogecoin continued its red-hot rally, rising more than 40% to a new all-time high near $0.70. Ether meanwhile is up 350% year to date – hitting a new high of $3,500 on Tuesday – far outpacing the 90% rise of bitcoin.

The 27-year-old co-creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, who currently holds 333,521 ETH, is now the world’s youngest crypto billionaire as the second-largest cryptocurrency surges to a $400 billion valuation. One analyst said ether will likely hit $40,000.

Oil prices snapped a two-day winning streak as investors pull back from the recent rally. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.49%, to $65.37 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, fell 0.23%, to $68.72 per barrel.

Gold climbed 0.35%, to $1,784.75 per ounce.

Lumber also topped $1,600 per thousand board feet for the first time ever this week as ongoing homebuilding push continues to drain lumber producers that are already lagging supply.

Stocks related to lumber soared in response, including Weyerhauser and West Fraser Timber.

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